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Progressive Era of U.S History

The progressive era in the United Stes of America was a period that reforms were being done in almost all sectors to ensure improvement of services thus enhancing growth of the economy. In contradiction with the title, the Progressive Era has not been effective and successful in the ideas they promote (Mann, A. 67-72). In response to the many changes that came with technology and industrialization the various groups of progressive era advocated for reforms in virtually all sectors from the economy to politics to the social life of people.

Some of the pressing issues during the progressive era included the unrest of laborers due to poor working conditions and low wages, unemployment, abuse of power by the government and big companies and wastage of natural resources. Majority of the people who pioneered professional from middle class who felt that most of the people were conducting themselves in a manner that left the rest of the people suffering (Midgley, J. 88-94).

All the institutions that were established during the progressive era have since collapsed. Examples include the war that was launched to end all other wars in America turned out to be the exact opposite with 20th century being described as the bloodiest century in U. S. A. Some of the best examples of progressive movements that have ended up in a disastrous manner include the antipollution movement by women, the conservation movement and the birth control movement.

One of the main reasons why the progressive era does not befit the title is that contrary to one of the many goals the federal government at the time did not eliminate as expected many problems that faced America and its citizens in regard to the economy and the social life. It is during the progressive era that there many conflicts within various movements of labor as there was high competition for survival in the markets (Whiteclay, J. 33-38). It has also argued by many that another reason that contributed to the failure of the progressive movements was their inability to overcome racism in America.

As is known one of the biggest social problems that America has been battling with is racism and discrimination of those people who are not white. It is not disputable that the progressive ear was a well thought idea and would have worked but only if more efforts in fighting racism were put. The minority races still existed and equality was far from being achieved as far as the progressive era was concerned. Considering that this had been a pressing issue for many years to the citizens of America the proponents of were seen to have failed (Skowronwek, S. 40-45).

Another weakness of the progressive era is that when the reformers realized that most of the American had gained so much materially they lost completely the zeal to bring in reforms. Another weakness was that in many cases the goals of the progressive movements always seemed to contradict each other in way or the other leading to the failure of progressive movements. The government was also to a large extent still under the influence of industry and business and this became a barrier to the success of the reformers (Richardson, T. 112-118).

In conclusion it is clear that although the initial idea was good it resulted to disastrous out come with many progressive movements collapsing without much to show in terms of accomplishments. Work cited: Mann, A. The Progressive Era. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1963. Midgley, J. The Handbook of Social Policy. London: SAGE: 2008. Richardson, T. Race, Ethnicity and Education. New York: IAP. 2003. Skowronwek, S. Building a New American State. London: Cambridge University Press, 1982. Whiteclay, J. The Tyranny of Change. London: Rutgers University Press, 2000.

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